Monday, 1 January 2007

Sweet Buns



I love bread. I have bread for breakfast almost everyday ever since I was young. This is my first attempt in making bread buns, like those "6-in-1" buns available at neighbourhood bakery shops. I have always wondered how they "join" or "mold" the bread into 6 buns. Thanks to the many food blogs out there, I was able to learn how this is done from step-by-step photos shared by bloggers. In case you are as ignorant as me, this is done simply by placing 6 doughs into one baking pan. The individual buns will join together after they are baked! Now, why I did'nt think of that?!

As I do not have a heavy duty mixer, I made the bread by hand. It is not easy. You will need to knead the dough continuously for at least 25 mins. The hard work did pay off though, the buns turn out to be very fluffy and soft. I was not very good in shaping the dough, they came in "all shapes and sizes" despite the fact that I weigh the dough to ensure each one was of equal weight.

I adapted the recipe from this site.


Ingredients:
(make around nine 60g portions)

150g bread flour
150g cake flour
5g active dry yeast
3g salt
125g milk
1 egg
60g caster sugar
50g butter
(1 egg, beaten, for glazing)

Method:
  1. Mix all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add in milk, egg and butter. Mix into a dough.
  2. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough until the gluten is fully developed (see tip below) and the dough is elastic, smooth and non-sticky. It will take about 25 mins to knead the dough by hand. Initially the dough will stick on to the work surface. Do not be tempted to add more flour or even give up kneading! After continuous kneading, the dough will no longer stick to the work surface.
  3. Place the dough in the mixing bowl and cover with a damp towel or cling wrap to seal in the moisture. Allow the dough to ferment(or proof) until double in bulk. This will take about 1 hr. To test whether the dough has been fully proofed, press a finger into the dough and withdraw quickly. It should leave a deep impression and spring back very slowly. For an insufficiently proofed dough, the impression will spring back instantly.
  4. Take out the dough and punch out the gas produced. Let the dough rest for about 15 minutes. Cover with a damp towel or cling wrap.
  5. Divide the dough into 60g portions. Shape and add fillings as desired. Arrange dough in a greased or lined pan. Let the dough proof for the second time for about 30-45mins. Cover with a damp towel or cling wrap.
  6. Brush the top with egg wash. Add almond flakes on the top of the buns, as desired.
  7. Bake for about 15 minutes in a preheated oven at 190 degC. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.
Tip:
To check whether the dough is fully developed, take a small piece of the dough and stretch it with your fingers. If it can be stretched into a thin layer without tearing easily, the dough is fully developed.

187 comments:

  1. I would just like to ask if powdered milk was use in these recipe or is it whole milk? I was suppose to try this last time but I wasn't sure of the milk. Thanks in advance :)

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  2. Hi Anne, it's not milk powder...just use fresh milk, I use either HL or Daisy low-fat milk, depending on what I have in the fridge :)
    Can't wait to see your blog posting on this!

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  3. Hi,

    What is the difference between active dry yeast and instant yeast?

    Thanks!
    Yvonne

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  4. Yvonne, what a good question u have asked! I used to be very puzzled with the difference between these two types of yeast :)
    According to my understand, instant yeast becomes active the moment it comes into contact with the liquid ingredients...it can be mixed directly with the flour and other dry ingredients and is not as sensitive as active dry yeast to temperature changes. Hence, it's good for making bread with bread machines.
    Whereas active dry yeast will only active when dissolved in lukewarm liquid. So far I have been using Instant yeast. Hope this helps :)

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  5. Thanks for the explanation. I've been trying this sweet bread recipe but somehow the bread are not soft like yours. I even put the dough through 2 rounds of kneading by the bread machine. Can you enlighten me?
    Thanks!
    Yvonne

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  6. Hi Yvonne, I am not sure what went wrong? Since the dough must have been well kneaded...it could be the proofing/rising/shaping part that affects the texture. As you didn't mention how you went about making the bread, I can't really pin down which area. But here's my guess:

    Did you use your bread machine to proof the dough? If yes, it should be ok. However, if you proof it at our room temperature, you will need to place the dough in a large bowl and cover it with cling wrap. You will also need to give it enough time for the second proofing (after shaping)...at least 35 mins - 45mins...depending on the weather.
    Furthermore, after the first rise, try not to knead the dough, just pounch out the air and lightly knead it once or twice to form a round big dough...then scale to the desired portion. During shaping, do be gentle with the dough as well. Then after shaping and proofing for the 2nd time, don't touch the dough anymore, just brush with glaze (if desired) and put in the oven. Bread dough are rather sensitive...have to treat it like handling a baby ;) Hope this helps to clear away some of your doubts??

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  7. thanks for sharing this recipe :)

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  8. Hi there,

    Your buns look wonderful. This is my dream, to make soft buns. Hope this recipe helps. By the way, what do you mean by cake flour, is it self-raising flour?

    Regards,N.M.P.

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  9. Hi N.M.P, cake flour is different from self-raising flour, it has got a lower protein content.

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  10. Hi there! Huge fan of your site..you have almost all the recipes that i have been searching for in vain! One question for this recipe...it doesn't mention when to add the butter. And is the butter supposed to be melted or at room temp? Thanks so much

    Deb

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  11. Hi Deb, thanks!
    No, the butter is not to be melted, just leave a room temperature will do. You can mix the butter together with the other ingredients to form the dough. Hope this helps :)

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  12. hii i am a big fan too of your blog!! i am 13 years old and im wondering if u can help me chnage the grams into cups for me? becuase i am really confused....or perhaps you know a website tat can help me convert?
    THANKS!!!

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  13. Hi Anonymous, thanks for your comments! You are only 13? and yet you like baking! how nice!
    You can refer to the two links under "Tools' on my side bar...for the conversion. I usually use a weighing scale and my measurements are in metric, so I had to convert from cups to grams :) Happy baking!

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  14. hi, it's also my dream to bake some bread for my kids but i have failed when i tried to follow a recipe in newspaper last weekend :(
    so happy to find this simple recipe n tempted to try, but can i substitute cake flour with all-purpose flour (how much)? cuz i hardly bake and dun want to waste $ to buy whole package of cake flour. many thanks.

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  15. Hi, sorry to hear about your failed attempt. Yes, you may subsitute the cake flour with plain flour by adding some corn flour/corn starch in it. You can refer to this site for the subsitition (http://joyofbaking.com/IngredientSubstitution.html). Hope you have success with this recipe :)

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  16. hi Happy Homebaker!
    i tried this recipe today and it turned out great!
    just that it doesn't look as fluffy as the buns you made.
    and also, the shape is horrendous!
    *blushes
    but other than that, all was good :D

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  17. Happy Homebaker, its me! i just got my bread machine and planning to start my bread making project this weekend. can i made this sweet bun using breadmachine? can you tell me the instruction? should i just put everything into it? which function should i use? please advice! FYI, I just made a chicken pie last week. please take a look. :)Chicken Pie. Happy Baking!

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  18. Hi Jovial, yes, you can use the bread machine to knead the dough for this recipe. Just place the ingredients according to the sequence as stated in your instruction manual. For my machine, I need to place the liquid ingredients before the dry ones...ie. first goes in the milk (I use fresh low fat milk), egg (lightly beaten), butter, then followed by the salt, sugar, cover with the flours and last add in the yeast. Use the DOUGH function to knead. You can either proof the dough at room temperature(ie take out the dough after the kneading completes) or let the dough proof in the machine...ie let the machine complete the entire Dough cycle (mine will take 1hrs 30mins). Then shape and add fillings as desired. If you prefer to have very soft buns, you can let the machine to knead the dough for 10mins, stop the machine, restart it again using the same Dough function. This will allow the dough to knead for 30mins (the standard dough kneading time is 20mins for my machine). Hope you have fun making these buns! Do drop me a note after you have tried it! Love to hear from you :)

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  19. hey happy homebaker..i would like to say im happy for you to be baking so many of this////love bread..

    em..i just use what i have in my house and have fun with what turns out in the end

    i used
    few hundreads grams of high protein flour and light wholemeal bread flour...i added few tsp of yeast..few hundread grams of sugar....some milk...vanilla extract and knead it....im doing it at night..so i'll take your other advices on what to do next...

    whatr do you think...?

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  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  21. hi happy homebaker, is me! i deleted my previous comment because i have updated my blog url. Just want to let u know i had make the sweet bun using ur recipe. please check it out!!!
    http://trixplanetz.blogspot.com/2008/01/homemade-sausage-sweet-bun.html

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  22. hi happy homebaker
    i baked cheese buns using your sweet bun recipes. i only need to knead 10min. your blog post said you took 25min. i dun think anything went wrong, because everybody loved the bread. thks for a great recipe!

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  23. Hi Sandy, glad to hear that you have great success with your cheese buns :D
    I usually take about 25-30mins to knead the dough by hand...as it is very sticky and wet. I do not add any flour while kneading, maybe that's the reason why I take so long? Do you have a blog? as I can't access your blog via your blogger profile :(

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  24. hi happy homebaker
    i'm in love with making bread! i made another batch today! hubby said vv expensive hobby, but i told him as long as he and the kids love the bread, it's ok. fresh, no preservatives, only love. hahahaha...

    i didn't add any flour while kneading, but only took me 10-15min to have a nice, elastic, smooth dough. it's still a little sticky, but passed the stretch test.

    here's my blog address.
    http://pax-recipe.blogspot.com/

    can i link u up? :)

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  25. Hi Sandy, bread making is very addictive! nothing beats the aroma from freshly baked homemade breads!
    May I know what kind of flour do u use? I suspect it's the flour...coz some types of flour is able to absorb more water. I sure want to learn how to knead the dough within 15mins!

    It's my pleasure to have u link me up :)

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  26. i've used 2 different brands of bread flour so far - PH and Bake King. For cake flour, only PH so far.

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  27. Would I be able to use regular flour as a substitute?

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  28. Hi Anonymous, for breads and buns, it's best to use bread flour as it has got a higher protein (gluten) content. However, I think it is still possible to use regular flour, only that the bread will be slightly more dense, and you may not slightly less water. You will have to work really well on the kneading part to fully develop the gluten in the flour. Hope this helps :)

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  29. Hi Homebaker,

    Came accross your blog when i was doing a search for bread recipe. You have a great website.
    I tried your sweet bun receipe last night and voila, it came out well, as this is my first time attmpting to bake bread.
    I must say the tricky part is the kneading. It was so sticky. Even after 25min, i still felt it was a lil sticky but it passed the stretch test so i went ahead with proofing. But after proofing for i hr, when i touch the dough it was still a lil sticky and didn't pass the indent test. Nevertheless, the bun was softy

    The bun was still soft this morning. My only setback was that the crust was a lil' hard. Could it be my oven temp. I set at 190/15min. Thanks for your advice. Am going to try your everyday bread next.Cheers, Mal

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  30. Hi Mai, thanks for visiting :)
    Glad to hear that you like the sweet buns. I often faced with a sticky dough even after the 1st proof. Next time, you can let it proof (1st proofing) up till 1.5hrs if it doesnt pass the indent test.

    The hard crust could be due to the oven temperature...as every oven is different. You may want to adjust to 180deg C next time. My oven is always on the 'cool side! The other factor would be...if u didnt cover the dough with cling wrap (both for the 1st and 2nd proof), the crust could turn hard.

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  31. Your buns looked lovely. I have tried your recipe 2x and each time I get very sticky dough. I let the breadmachine do the kneading. But the end results are still pretty soft buns.

    May I know how to convert 125g milk into cup measurement?

    Thanks.

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  32. Hi. May I know how do I convert 125g of fresh milk to cup measurements?

    Thanks.

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  33. Hi MIM, Rita,
    you can visit this site (http://www.gourmetsleuth.com/cookingconversions.asp?Action=find) to look for the conversion from weight to cup.

    MIM, you can try letting your bread machine knead for an extra 10mins or so.

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  34. Hi did you use active dry or instant yeast? It says active dry in the recipe but your method seems to be for instant yeast.

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  35. Hi MJ, I used instant yeast. I didn't know the difference between the two until much later. Sorry for the confusion, hope I didn't cause any inconvenience :(

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  36. Hi,

    Man, your stuff rules! I been trying to make bread in the past and it's always come out very dense, but that might be because I used plain flour!?

    Anyway, I'm going to try cake/bread flour and see what happens! I am confident it will work!

    Thank you so much!

    Martin

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  37. dear hhb,

    your blog is awesome! i can't wait to try the bread recipes you're sharing.

    thank you for telling us how to get the buns to join together. i'm one of those idiot who was wondering how u did it until i read your comment.

    1) do you have any step by step blogs to recommend?

    2) are loaf pans sold only in 1 size? how did u manage to get 3 loaves from ur "just a loaf of bread" post.

    3) most cake recipes will specify the size of the tin to be used. how do u decide what size for bread?!?

    hungry and blur!

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  38. Hi Martin, I'm sure you will come up with something great, have fun baking :D

    Hi hungry and blur!
    thanks for your compliments :)
    1) I'm sorry I dont have any step-by-step blogs to recommend, however, there are many great food blogs out there, I'm sure you will be able to find something you like. Keep search ;)

    2) There are different sizes of loaf pans. However, over here I've only seen 2 ~ 3 different sizes. For that post, I only made One loaf, it looks like three as I have shaped it into 3 rolls.

    3) The size of my pullman tin is about length:7.5", width:4", ht:4". The size of the finished bread looks like those local store-bought loaves. Usually most bread recipes will state the size of the loaf pan, if you are following my recipe, then the pan size to use is (7.5"x4"x4"). Hope this helps.

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  39. thank you :) i'll pop by PH this weekend to pick up a loaf tin of 7.5" x 4" x 4". the green tea bread with azuki beans is calling my name :p

    sorry to be anal, can u give me the size of the pan u used for this recipe (sweet bun) as well? i can tell it's a square pan and wondering if my 8" sq cake ring can do the job.

    thank you
    pansy

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  40. Hi Pansy, I used a 8' square pan for this sweet bun.

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  41. Dear HHB

    I grease and line my baking tray with greaseproof paper and yet after baking, the buns always stick to the paper. FYI, I was baking sausage buns.

    Does it mean I just need to grease the pan and omit the baking paper?

    Thanks!

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  42. Hi Rita,
    If you have greased your pan, then u dont have to use the baking paper. If you are using baking paper, then u dont have to grease it.
    Do take note of the type of greaseproof paper you are using...I use 'baking paper' or 'parchment paper' which is non-stick, brand name is "Glad". I used to use a certain type of greaseproof paper and my cookies would still stick to it!

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  43. hi rita,

    I tried out your buns twice - love the flavour but my buns are hard. in fact, i can't leave them overnight!

    my weighing machine can't do 5g as it is too little. i used 1 tablespoon baking king's instant yeast. can i ask if the conversion from active yeast to instant yeast is 1 to 1:?

    thanks
    pansy

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  44. Hi Pansy, I am not sure whether this comment is meant for me? as my name is not Rita??
    4g of Instant Yeast is about 1 teaspoon, so for 5g, it is about 1 & 1/4 teaspoons. I don't think the ratio of active yeast to instant yeast is 1:1. I read somewhere that active yeast is heavier than instant yeast. I am also looking for the actual conversion.

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  45. Hi Happy Homebaker,

    Just want to thank you for all your efforts on posting on ur blog. It truely inspires me and whenever I feel down abt something, reading ur blog always perks me up :)

    I used to like baking a lot but has totally stopped since my son came along 3 yrs ago. After reading ur blog, i picked up my passion again.

    Now my son eats the bread from this sweet bun recipe tt I bake for breakfast every morning!

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  46. Hi Anonymous, thanks for your lovely comments :D
    I am glad to hear that you have picked up your passion again. I am sure it is very satisfying just to watch your little one eating your bakes :)

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  47. So sorry! the message was meant for u! i was reading all the comments in hope of getting a tip for my bun failure. Rita was the lady who just posted above me... pardon my scattered brain.

    I think i figured out what went wrong - i didn't knead long enough and the yeast amt. I read your earlier comments and substituted the 5g active dry yeast with baking king's instant yeast. Used about 2 teaspoon as my weighing machine can't detect small changes.

    For this recipe, how many tsp/g of instant yeast did u use? I'm going to give this a try again! Your pics are what inspires me.

    thank you
    pansy

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  48. Hi Pansy, for this recipe I used about 1 & 1/4 teaspoons of instant yeast. My weighing scale can only read up till 10g :( So most of the time I go by estimation, always keeping my fingers crossed that things would turn out fine ;)
    This is qutie a wet dough, so if you are kneading by hand, you will have to knead it till it is smooth, elastic and the dough should no long sticks to your hand. All the best for your next attempt! Happy Baking :D

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  49. Hi HHB,

    The taste and texture came out very good but after 6 hrs the texture became very sticky, why is it so? Is it because of our (Singapore) weather?

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  50. Hi Jas, no, I don't think it has got to do with the weather. I think, maybe you have under bake it?? Or did you cool it completely on a cooling rack before storing? The bread should stay soft at least to the next day.

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  51. Thanks! I will try it again:)
    Definitely a keeper, my kids love it alot especially just out of oven.

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  52. I like to drop by your blog. Love those cakes and bread. I try to do sweet buns today. The dough is very sticky and not so soft. I use the breadmaker and set to Dough. Since it is sticky, I add some flour to it and knead for a while. The crust is hard. I wonder why is the dough so sticky and not soft.

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  53. Hi Jo, I am not quite clear what you meant by 'dough' sticky and not soft? are you refering to the baked bread or the 'raw dough'? If you are referring to the raw dough, from my experience, the dough is very sticky as the water content is quite high. If I were to knead by handm, I will usually need to knead the dough for 30mins until it becomes smooth, elastic and no long stick to my hands. If I use the bread machine, I will let the machine knead for 30mins (20 mins is the standard time, but I force it to stop and re-start again).
    If you are referring to the bread (after baking) being sticky, it could mean that you may have under baked the bread, did you use the bread machine or your oven to bake?
    As for the hard crust, I am not sure what went wrong as you didn't mention how you went about shaping/proofing the dough. Did you cover the dough when you left it to proof? Since many factors can contribute to the finished bread, you may want to refer to this site (http://www.baking911.com/bread/problems.htm) to see whether you can find out what went wrong?

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  54. Hi Happy Homebaker

    I'm a fan of your blog, I really loves those pictures you took, it makes me feel like baking as well.

    In any case, I tried making the sweet buns, but it turns out very dense and cake-like rather then fluffy like yours, also the crust was really hard. Do you know whats wrong? I kneaded the dough for about 25 minutes until it's no longer sticky and it passed the indent test after 1st proofing. But for the 2nd proofing, i only let it proof for 15 minutes, could that be the reason?

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  55. Hi Boringtazz, the sweet buns should not be dense or cake-like. As many factors can contribute to the outcome of the bread, I am not sure what happened to yours. Did you check whether your dough before proofing to see whether it is elastic and won't break off easily? As for the hard crust, did you cover the dough when proofing (both 1st and 2nd time?). It could also due to the baking time/temperature. Did you preheat your oven? You may like to check out this site to see whether you can find the possible cause (http://www.baking911.com/bread/problems.htm#breadproblemshomemade).

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  56. dear happyhomebaker,

    i simply adore your blog and must say, do envy u to be able to spend your time in the kitchen everyday!! i could only make use of the time i have on weekends as on weekdays, i m almost half a zombie after work! hee

    thanks for sharing this recipe!! its my first attempt to bake my own buns using my two hands and the results were beautiful.

    here's wishing u a blessed year ahead and may u reap folds of fruitfulness! most imptly, may all the best days in 2008 be the worst in 2009 for u!

    happie baking!

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  57. thank you happy home baker for your wonderful recipe of sweet buns! I made it this morning and it was really nice and fluffy. i also added sugar to the egg top.. and it came out with a nice crispy top!

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  58. hi,

    Thanks for sharing ! Really nice of you to take time and effort to explain in details.

    I've another question, do we need to buy special tin for baking such bread? What's the height, length of the tin required to make such buns ?

    Thanks !
    Linda

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  59. Hi Linda, you can use a normal square pan to bake the buns. I used a 8" pan for this loaf. The height is about 2~3".

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  60. hey.. just wanna say that ur recipe worked fantastic and im determined to try as many recipes i can in ur website...next challengewould be the chiffon cakes which i am always afraid of..hope it works. btw, do u have a pic of the pull man tin, cos im quite puzzled abt that and might want to buy one too..thx

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  61. Hi Nutty, I am happy to know that you have great success with the recipe :)
    You can take a look over here (http://uk.shopping.com/-pullman+bread+tin) for an illustration of a pullman tin. Hope this helps.

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  62. HELLO... I AM USING ELECTRIC OVEN.. SO, DO I NEED TO BAKE USING LOWER BURNER @ BOTH, LOWER & TOP BURNER??

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  63. Hi HHB,
    I tried this sweet bun recipe. I used my breadmachine only for kneading the dough and kept it at room temperature.But even after 5 hours the dough didn't rise not even a single inch. More over the dough was very sticky.Even though i baked the dough in my oven .But it didn't work well.I don't know why the dough did not rise

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  64. Hi Anonyomous, I am sorry, as my oven has got only one heating element, and one setting, I am not able to answer your question.

    Hi Anonymous, I am not sure what went wrong. It could be due to the yeast? Do you have such a problem with other bread recipes?

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  65. Dear Happy Home Baker
    Today again i tried your sweet bun recipe.But this time i used my bread machine for both kneading and rising;because i thought that last time the problem was because of our weather(UK). Here the room temperature is always between the range of 17 and 18 degrees.But even after the machine finished the rising function the dough was not in double size.so i switch on the room heater and kept the dough for 1 hour more. Then the dough became double in size. I was very happy then.But when i finished my baking the buns were ok but not very soft as yours.I used Hovis fast action bread yeast.But the flour was not bread flour.It was plain flour.This is my first baking . I didn't bake anything before.May be better luck next time.I'm a big fan of you.Your recipes are so amaizing. Thanks for sharing the recipes.

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  66. Hi Pinku, it could also be due to the temperature of the other ingredients...like milk, egg, they have to be at room temperature as well before using...if the ingredients are too cold, the yeast may not activate. On the other hand, if it is too warm, the yeast may be killed. The best temperature is around 28degC. It is best to use bread flour, as the gluten level is higher than plain flour. With a higher gluten, the bread will rise better and give a softer texture.

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  67. HBB! I am so so impressed with ur lovely blog n u noe what i try to bake for the first time in my life. the result :P "i got 9 very very hard bun" I dunno where i go wrong but from all the comments everyone saying their dough is sticky but mine is rather dry even after 1 hour of kneading i still couldn't get soft dough.. judging fr the time i use to knead i tot its enough already. I dunno what is going wrong can u help me to find out?i am so eager to try for another round again :P i find there's a few things weird here.. 1stly i am using measuring cup for both flour = 150gm measurement n i do use spoon to press tight the flour during the measurement process is that wrong?
    my measure cup goes by gm n i assume it is g is it ok? 2ndly i use 8 tablespoon = 1/2 cup milk for this recipe. "i try to search thru google for answer the measurement" "silly me didn't read thru the comments b4 i start baking :P" sugar = 2 tablespoon butter = 3 tablespoon. i mix the dry ingredients follow by wet one as u say. any idea on why my dough is so hard even after the mixing up process? :P

    newbie

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  68. Hi newbie. I am sorry to hear about your unsuccessful attempt. I think you did not measure the ingredients correctly. I suspect the measure of the flour is wrong, usually when measuring by cups, it is not suppose to press the flour into the cup...you may have used to much flour. When the ingredients are first mixed, the dough should already be very wet and sticky. If yours appear too dry then it's either too much flour or too little water. The dough should become smooth and non-sticky after 20-30mins of kneading. You can refer to my post on 'Matcha Red Bean Loaf', I have posted some photos on a bread dough during the kneading stage. You can refer to this site on how to go about measuring flour: (http://www.ehow.com/how_2253639_measure-flour.html) Hope this helps :)

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  69. HBB! thank u for ur reply!! i am trying for 2nd time :P now i'm at the proving stage.. yet i was thinking for the final prove after shaping do i need to cover up my dough with cling wrap? is that mean my dough hv to be away from wind just like the 1st proving did?

    newbie

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  70. HhB~ :) Hihi I'm here again to say thank u for ur prompt reply to my queries hehe :D i try to bake the bun again today n hehe i end up success... although my bun is not fluffy enough but i reali love it "i dunno the reason" :P Oh ya again i suspect is my dough.. i dun think i pass the test but i already knead it for 1 hour 15 minutes. Its either the 2nd proof!! I only leave the dough for 15minutes whereby i saw ur reply was much more longer. Nvm i'll try again in this few days :)

    Thank U!
    newbie

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  71. Hi newbie, yes for the second proof, you will still need to cover the dough with either a damp cloth or cover it loosely with cling wrap. This is to prevent the bread from forming a hard crust upon baking.

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  72. Hi homebaker,
    Yes, after the success of the crusty white bread, this is next! Alas, didn't turn out as good.
    Few factors suspected:
    - Over kneading of dough? Kneaded for almost 45 mins in total!
    - Didn't let the dough proof enough during first round. 1hr was probably not enough when I noticed the dough didn't actually double in bulk?
    - After resting the dough for 15 minutes, instead of just pressing out the gas, I gave the dough some punching! LOL.
    - Should second proofing be longer as I only proof for 15 minutes (for crusty white bread, second proofing was 50-60 minutes)?
    - Didn't cover the dough properly during second proofing (actually I did lay the clingwrap over the aluminium tray)?
    - Oven temperature was too hot?
    See how it turned out:
    http://dreamersloft.blogspot.com/2009/05/sweet-buns.html
    LOL. Will try again!

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  73. Hi Daydreamer,

    I just read your post. I am not sure about over kneading, my time limit (or rather my arm power threshold) is about 30mins. I read somewhere that we will never be able to over knead a dough by hand ;)

    Although I am no expert in baking, I will try to answer your questions based on my experience.

    I think the greatest suspect is the 1st proof. I have learned that the time (1 hr) serves only as a guide...it depends on the environment, the temperature of the ingredients...if the liquid/eggs, etc, is too cold, it may take a longer time for the yeast to work. Just let the dough continue to proof if it doesnt double in bulk. Test by poking a floured finger in the dough, it should leave a dent. 2nd proofing can be longer too, especially if there is no apparently increase in volume. I suspect the hard crust was also due to the temperature...your oven may be too hot, or you may have baked too near the heating elements?

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  74. Ah, probably the milk and egg weren't sufficiently brought to room temperature...
    Thanks! Will try again, a little tired from kneading :p

    ReplyDelete
  75. hello it's my dream to be able to bake bread on my own
    but my parents dont support me to work in bakery
    therefore am thinking of trying to bake bread at home
    home made bread sounds great!
    tried the sweet bun recipe but after i mix in all the ingredients to form the dough and start kneading...
    as you mention it is sticky initially
    but after kneading for almost half an hour my dough is still in the same sticky form as it is initially..
    would like to ask for help to find out what went wrong with my dough
    is it because i used the wrong yeast?
    i am using the packeted powder form yeast ( i think they call it instant dry yeast?)
    thanks a lot for any advice


    -vincent-

    ReplyDelete
  76. Hi Vincent, Yes, you can use instant yeast. The type of yeast will not have effect on the initial stage of kneading of the dough. I suspect it could be the measurement of the ingredients, maybe too much liquid...you may have used a bigger egg? You can adjust by adding a little bit flour to the dough. I hope your next attempt will be a great success, happy baking!

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  77. Hi HBB! It's me again :)

    I've always wanted to try making my own buns, my hubby loves them. Instead of spending money outside at bakeries, the prices are going higher and higher, I'm very interested to make my own bun dough.

    Just a question though, instead of kneading by hand, can I use a hand mixer and use the dough hook function to knead?

    I understand that this dough is very versatile right, can use it for red bean buns, sausage buns etc?

    Thanks, so many questions :p

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  78. Hi Kristie, you can use your mixer with the dough hook to knead the bread. Most sweet bun recipes can be used as the basic dough recipe and use it for different types of filling.

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  79. Thanks HHB, I can see in your recipe that you use cake flour and bread flour. Is it possible to use all bread flour? Will it cost the texture to differ?

    Is bread flour same as pau flour or top flour?

    Thanks again :)

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  80. Hi Kristie, yes this recipes uses a mixture of cake flour and bread flour...I guess it will help to make the bread softer? Sorry I am no expert in the area of baking, so I don't really know the reason behind. Bread flour is different from top flour, I am not sure what is pau flour? Bread flour has got a high glutten level, whereas top flour has low glutten level. You can read more about the different type of flour from this brand "Prima"'s website. Hope this helps.

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  81. Hi HHB, I've read up on the types of flour, thanks :)

    Is it ok to use all purpose flour in place of cake flour?

    Thanks.

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  82. Hi Kristie, I am not sure about using plain flour. You can go to this site (joyofbaking.com) to see how you are subsititute cake flour with plain flour (by adding some corn starch to it). Hope this helps.

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  83. Hi HHB,

    I've just a packet of bread flour and can't wait to try out making my own buns.

    Just a few qns :p

    -1st proofing has to double in size right? and to do the stretch test.

    -2nd proofing is done after sharping and fillings in the dough? Also proof until double in size?

    Thanks :)

    ReplyDelete
  84. Hi Kristie, yes to both your questions.

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  85. Thanks a lot HHB for always replying to my queries. Will be attempting it soon :)

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  86. hi
    your bun looks so nice and fluffy, i just had to try it. yesterday, i made a batch in the afternoon, which didnt rise at all. i thought may be that the dough was too wet as it didnt look like pizza doughs i'm used to making. oh yeah and probably killed the yeast when i put the warm milk in (as i normally put warm water for pizza dough). :-)

    then i tried again at night, this time making it abit drier. first rise was ok, i was impatient for the second and third as it was late at night. after trying, hubby said, "nice, like scones" i almost wanted to faint. told him they are supposed to be like fourleave bread.

    i almost want to give up, but after reading all the comments, i think i'll check what yeast i'm using, start early so i can give enough time to rise and will see how it goes again. :-)

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  87. Hi golfmum, there are many factors affecting bread making, I am glad that you will give it a try again. I am sure you will be able to make soft and nice buns on your nice attempt. Happy baking!

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  88. Wow. Your blog is amazing and I can't wait to try your recipes. I am wondering if I can double this recipe as I have a big family. Thanks

    Claire

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  89. Hi Claire, you can double the recipe, in fact I only used half of the original recipe.

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  90. Thanks for your prompt reply. I hadn't seen your reply as I was too excited to try the recipe. Turned out GREAT. I made with different fillings. Thanks again.

    Claire

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  91. Hi, understand that you use fresh milk for your sweet bun recipe. I'm thinking of substituting with kids' packet milk. Do you think this will affect the softness of the bread? Thanks for advice. :)Kim

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  92. Hi Kim, Sorry, I am not sure what you meant by kids' packet milk? Is is different from fresh milk? I use low fat fresh milk, since it is not stated in the original recipe, I think as long as it is milk, it should be fine.

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  93. Hi, thanks for your reply. I was referring to Marigold packet full cream milk for children. Anyway, i went on to try, twice. The buns are soft but i still them not fluffy enough (not like yours). Wonder if proofing them longer after shaping will make it fluffier. Thing is, i proof for 1/2 hour but the dough did not quite double in size. Other than that, everything else was great. Thanks. I'm glad i chanced upon your blog. :>Kim

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  94. Hi Kim, 1/2 an hour is just a guage, it really depends on the room temperature, you can let the doughs proof longer so that they are doubled in size.

    ReplyDelete
  95. Hi,

    I have tried the recipe twice, but failed. I used hand method to mix and knead the dough, but after 1/2 hour the 'dough' looked more like a thick batter than what it should be...Do you know what went wrong? I used German type 550 flour (aka. All Purpose Flour)..

    Thanks in advance,
    Tammy

    ReplyDelete
  96. Hi Tammy, you will need to use bread flour which has a higher gluten level to make this bread.

    ReplyDelete
  97. Hi HHB,
    Is it possible to use this recipe to make a sweet loaf instead of small buns using the bread machine?
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  98. Hi, I have not tried making a loaf using this recipe. You can give it a try though, but do note that the bread machine will give a darker and thicker crust.

    ReplyDelete
  99. Hi HHB
    I tried this recipe twice, the first time the crust is very pale and texture's cake-like. I realised it could be bcoz I did not glaze enough and also I only used 1 tsp of yeast instead.
    Second try, the crust still not as brown as your despite baking it for 20mins(I glazed all the sides) but texture still cake-like(I used 5g yeast)
    I used the bread machine to dough(complete cycle,same machine as yours) restarting it after the first 20mins.
    Was reading the questions posted by others & your answers I realised it could be the cold milk, eggs & butter I used...Planning to bake it again tmr but will you be able to guide me how to achieve the brown crust like yours? Thanks
    Shirley

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  100. Hi Shirley, did the dough rise nicely during the 1st and 2nd proof? If yes, then it shouldn't give a cake like texture.
    I don't think it is due to the egg glaze, I hardly glaze my buns (refer my pictures posted under Garlic Buns, Green Tea Buns, Matcha Buns, Otah Buns and White Bread Rolls), but they are able to brown nicely. I suspect it is due to your oven temperature. Did you preheat to the required temperature? Do you use a oven thermometer to check that the temperature is accurate?
    The ingredients used have to be in room temperature, especially if you knead by hand. The yeast will not work well if the temp is low. Since you are using BM to knead, it should be ok, as the BM will start to heat up even during the kneading cycle.

    ReplyDelete
  101. Hi HHB
    Third attempt today with egg, milk & butter at room temperature in BM full dough cycle restarting after 15mins.
    The funny thing is the dough is very sticky at the end of the cycle which has never happen during my 1st and 2nd attempt.
    I kneaded it for about 10mins by hand and cover with clingwrap for 15mins. It is still sticky, in the end I just shape it and bake. The crust colour is slightly better and texture soft but it became hard when I tried to eat it.

    Not sure if my oven temp is accurate, have to check.As I am staying in US, it is in Fahrenheit but it shd be correct (375F=190C?)

    Really don't know what is wrong...

    Shirley

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  102. Hi HHB,
    I attempted the fourth time today and I am so glad I succeeded!After reading from thebestbreadmachine.com, I finally realised what went wrong.
    It was so a silly mistake that I overlooked. I actually forgot to proof the dough after I have shaped it!
    I reduced the yeast as I am living above 3000ft above sea level here in US and all my baking recipes need adjustments.
    Well, I am really glad that I have the fluffiest bread this afternoon ;)
    Thanks for the great recipe!
    Shirley

    ReplyDelete
  103. Hi Shirley, I am so glad to hear about your successful attempt :D

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  104. Hi HHB,

    first of all thanks for putting up all your lovely recipes. I am very new to baking bread. i just recently bought a bread maker. my first bread was your hokkaido milky loaf which turned out great.
    today i tried to make your sweet bun using my bread maker. i let the bread maker knead and proof the dough. it took about 1hr and 30 min. however, when i took the dough out of my bread maker, i realised that the dough was awfully sticky. i even kneaded with my hands for a while but it was still very sticky. i even used my finger to test if the dough had proofed enough by using your technique of sinking in a finger and observing how fast the dough springs back and it was so sticky that it springed back immediately.i was so disheartened that i din bake the bread after that. sorry for such a long post. would u have any idea wats wrong?

    ReplyDelete
  105. Hi Sheena, I am sorry I do not know what happened. The only thing is, you will need to do the proof test right after the first proof. After you have knead it by hand you will not be able to test it. I suspect maybe the amount of liquid is too much, or maybe the size of the egg you use is too big? or it could be due to the amount of flour. Next time, during the kneading cycle, you can check whether the dough is too sticky, if yes, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time and adjust accordingly. I am sure with more practice, you will be able to get the hang of bread making, happy baking!

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  106. Sure. thank u very much for taking the time to reply.i appreciate it very much.

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  107. How many teaspoon is 5gm yeast? an i know how you measure your yeast? Digital scale?

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  108. Hi HHB,

    I tried the same recipe again and i'm happy to say that it came out perfect. soft and fluffy as expected. lovely! I'm not sure why I failed last time but I did a few things differently this time. perhaps thats what saved the bread. last time i had used UHT milk. This time I used fresh milk. last time I softened the butter in my microwave.I did not do that this time. just chopped it and put it in the bread maker. Thank you very much once again.

    ReplyDelete
  109. Hi, 1 teaspoon of yeast is about 4gm. I don't have a digital scale, I use a diet scale that can only read up to 10g.

    Hi Sheena, the butter is not supposed to be melted into liquid, just leave it under room temperature to soften it.

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  110. Hi HHB,

    I tried using your recipe yesterday but it fails...:( I dunno wat went wrong as my whole dough didn't raise all all after 1 hr of proofing. I have a few questions that need your advise:

    1) May I know if the proportion of bread flour & cake flour is it half each as i saw some recipe stating Cake flour is abt 1/4 of Bread flour. My dough was too sticky to be knead and end up I add more bread flour.


    2)I add the instant yeast to the flour, followed by adding Sugar, Salt before pouring in the milk and Egg. I saw the link u provide said that Yeast must nt be mix tigether with Sugar & Salt but the recipe says to mix all dry ingredients together and knead. Could you kindly advise on this as I am kinda confused.

    Sorry for the long questions as it's my 1st time baking bread and I wish to bake for my girl as she loves sweet buns. Tks in adv. :)

    ReplyDelete
  111. Hi Joy, I am not sure what went wrong, but this recipe gives very sticky dough, if you are kneading by hand, you will need to knead continuously for at least 30mins.

    1) I used half bread flour and half cake flour for this recipe. Some other recipes will only use a smaller portion of the cake flour.

    2) If you are using a bread machine, when adding the yeast, it is best not to add it at the same 'spot' with sugar and salt. especially if you are using the DELAY funtion of the bread machine to make bread. If you are kneading by hand, it is ok to mix everything together. Hope this helps :)

    ReplyDelete
  112. Hi HHB, Tks for replying.

    I knead by hand as I dun hv any bread machine.

    Btw, I didn't hv any milk, so I replaced some water with 3 tablespoon of milk to obtain 125g of milk.Do u think it's ok?

    Also, I didn't mix the yeast with the water, I just mix all dry ingredients together, do u think it's due to this tat caused my dough didn't raise as usually the yeast hv to mix with water bef pouring into the flour? Beside tata, wld u advise me to use maybe abt 11g of yeast for this recipe for better raising? :(

    Hope u could help me. Thx!

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  113. Joy, I think your milk mixture shouldnt be a problem. and if you are using INSTANT yeast, you don't have to mix it in water. Only for those "Active Dry yeast", you will need to dissolve in water before using. I don't think it is advisable to increase the amount of yeast, use the amount according to the recipe. btw, did you make sure the ingredients are not cold, like the egg should be room temperature. If the other ingredients are too cold, the yeast will not activate, too hot, the yeast will be killed. If the dough is not well kneaded, the dough will not proof well too.

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  114. Hi HHB, I tried to attempt a 2nd try today. My dough finally raise after 1 hr!! Thanks you!

    However, the outer part of the bun is quite hard, not so soft like yours, it's more like 'stone' hahaha. Also, the inner bread is not as floffy and fine like yours. Mine was quite course. Do u hv any idea why is that so?

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  115. Hi Joy, did you cover the doughs during the 2nd proof? The crust will turn hard if the doughs are not covered.

    ReplyDelete
  116. Hi HHB,

    I did. I used a damp cloth/ cling flim to cover as I proof it in the oven like you. However, I was not able to get the same texture of crust like yours, so soft. My bread crust was like a 'hard and rough shell'.. :( Btw, do u think during my kneading, I likda 'spank' and knead quite hard many times on the working table (as I read this from another baking blog, staing must do that to make the dough gluten works. Do u do that too during kneading or you just knead it using heel of your plam till smooth?

    I wonder how you managed to get such a soft and shiny bread crust texture.

    ReplyDelete
  117. Hi Joy, maybe it is due to the kneading, your dough may not be well-kneaded. I knead the bread by using the heel of my palm. I think after a few practices I am sure you will be able to get the right texture. You can take a look at my post "Matcha Red Bean Loaf" to get an idea how I went about kneading by hand. Hope it helps!

    ReplyDelete
  118. Hi HHB,

    Thanks for your reply.

    I will try again. :)

    I have a feeling I kinda over knead than under knead my dough, though I know generally over-knead a dough is less common.

    I let you know if I managed to success to find the reason. :)

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  119. Hii!
    I'm ready to bake sweetbuns
    but I have one question:
    Do you place the dough in the fridge to raise? :o

    Thanks!
    My blogspot: http://icepandora.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  120. Hi, no, I leave the dough to proof at room temperature.

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  121. I love sweets buns. That reminds me of the ones I used to get in HK from Maxim's or any small bakeries around. Guess, I have to try to make it since I couldn't find them here in the States. Thanks for posting your recipe. Let me introduce this bread to my colleagues. They'll definitely love it.

    ReplyDelete
  122. Hi HBB
    I am quite confuse with the strecth test. How far should we strecth the dough? When strecthing, should the thin layer look smooth? I always not sure if I pass the test or not, and keep on kneading, is there any other test to tell you that the dough is fully develop?

    Thanks and awaiting for your advice.

    Regards. Min

    ReplyDelete
  123. Hi Min, I googled and managed to find a few blogs with photos to show how to do a stretch test:
    1) http://www.wretch.cc/blog/easterday/3709185
    2) http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_52e066cc0100fuco.html
    3) http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_4cb9766d010009xb.html
    4) http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_4cb9766d010009xb.html
    5) http://deng1206.pixnet.net/blog/post/28016296
    6) http://loveiskate.pixnet.net/blog/post/6256278

    Hope the photos give you some idea. I also learn from photos in cookbook.

    I am sorry, I am no expert in bread making, so I do not know whether there are other methods to tell whether the dough is fully developed.

    ReplyDelete
  124. Tried out your recipe with a few adjustments to the measurements and it turned out wonderful!!! The buns were very soft even on the next day! So thank you. I have been searching high and low for the recipe for this kind of sweet/sticky bun. Thank you!

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  125. Hi HHB :)
    I've had a lovely time looking through your blog, I love the breads and cakes you make!!! You have seriously influenced me to try (for the first time) making bread!!!! Before I try this recipe I would like to ask a few question:

    1)For the pan in which the dough would be placed in to bake, does the edge of the pan have to be higher than the dough so when it rises it won't rise over the edge?

    2)By punching out the dough do you mean hitting it to let out air???

    3) And lastly since it is quite cold atm where I live, I'm afraid the yeast won't develope properly, do you think putting it near an electric blanket might activate the yeast better?? (this is just an idea i had)

    I'm very new to bread making...at home I'm normally more of a cake maker hehe I love your blog I hope I can become a wonderful baker like you (btw I'm 16 yrs old) :D

    emily

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  126. Hi Emily, thanks for visiting my blog :)
    1. I use a square 8" baking pan that is about 6cm in height. The buns will rise just over the rim. Hope this gives you an idea the type of pan you can use. The pan doesnt have to be very deep, yet it cannot be too shallow.

    2. Punching is a term used in many bread making cookbook...it means pressing down the dough to release the air. You can visit (http://www.baking911.com/bread/101_intro.htm) to read up on the details.

    3. I can't comment on this...but you can refer to the above link for possible places to let your dough proof. Hope this helps :)

    ReplyDelete
  127. Hi,

    Your recipe is great and eventhough i use just all purpose flour, bread turns out fluffy. Thanks for the advice on the kneading part..hehe..I read your tip when i was just about to add more flour..I knead about 10 minutes before it got less sticky tho.

    I realised that the bottom of my dough was kinda sticky after the 1st proofing, does it always happens?

    i actually covered my dough with a damp cloth in a mixing bowl and lay the bowl over a tray of warm water since it is pretty cold at my place.

    Is it necessary to put it over warm water for proofing? I did that for both proofing. Does it mean that the longer proofing time, the fluffier the bread? Is there a max time that a bread can proof?

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  128. Hi, I didn't have problem with the bottom of the dough being sticky after the 1st proofing. I am not sure what is the cause. You can proof the dough over warm water if your place is cold, I don't have to do that as our room temp is around 28-30degC which is idea for the first proofing. Over proofing will not necessary yield fluffier dough. The dough has to be well kneaded in the first place. Over proofing may cause a yeasty smell in the finished bread. For first proofing, it usually takes around 1 to 1.5 hrs to proof, whereas the 2nd proofing will usually be around 45mins to an hour. Hope this helps.

    ReplyDelete
  129. Hi Hi, your blog is very inspiring. Tried baking the sweet buns but in came out as pretty tough and too dense. have a couple of questions i hope u can help me with
    How to i make sure the butter is properly mix into the flour to form dough? Now i am using my finger to press the chucks of butter into the flour and milk (semi dough mixture) for the second part after i punch the dough and let it rest do i need to cling wrap it? not so sure if i need to cling wrap the dough during "resting" and "second proofing" ...hope u can help...thks in advance

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  130. HanamiPachinko, yes, just mix the ingredients, including the butter together with hand, to form a a rough dough, then knead for about 30mins. Do the window pane test, the dough is ready when you are able to stretch a small piece into a thin membrane without tearing. Yes, do cover the dough with cling wrap during resting and after shaping. Thanks for highlighting, I have updated the recipe to make it clearer.

    ReplyDelete
  131. Dear Happy Home Baker,

    Merry Christmas to you and your love ones.

    My friend introduced me to your blog.It really inspiring me. ^.^ you r very telanted in baking.

    I have tried few times to bake bread. however, fail. untill i follow your steps and ingredients....wao, finally succeed yesterday.^.^ I am so happy.

    Thank u for your time and kindness in upload all this info in your blog.

    yeah, can i get your permission to cut and paste the steps and ingredients to microsoft word? so, i can print out from there.

    as if i directly print out from here. it will take lots of pages kind of waste for me. just to cut the important info .not to use for other purpose.

    ^.^ thank u.

    Regards,
    sunflower

    ReplyDelete
  132. Hi sunflower, thanks for your kind comments :) You may copy and paste the instructions and print it.

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  133. Do I measure the milk in a glass on a scale in grams? You're recipes sound amazing and look beautiful. Can hardly wait to try some out. I really appreciate your detailed instructions.
    Thanks, Michelle

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  134. Hi Michelle, yes the amount of milk is in grams.

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  135. Hi I baked a batch of bun, turn out soft and nice, but next day turn tough is it correct?
    due to attend urgent matter, I left my 2nd proofing dough in room temp for more than 4 hrs, is it will cause bun teste like yeast? should I place my dough into fridge...? what must I do? thank you for all your time.
    SFW

    ReplyDelete
  136. Hi SFW, you have over proofed the dough, that is why the bread taste yeasty. You may leave the dough in the fridge, but the best is allow sufficient time on hand whenever you want to make bread. hope this helps :)

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  137. Hi, just wondering if you can receipe for hotdog bun recipes just like those sold in Four Leaves?

    ReplyDelete
  138. Hi Brenda, I do not have such a recipe.

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  139. H. Jagath D. Peiris5/10/11 11:21 pm

    I tried your recipe the buns came out beautifully, but it took more time to rise in the second stage. I used milk powder to make milk. Please define what is cake floor. I mixed the butter at the last stage of developing the dough. Please help me to improve the quality of the Buns. Please post a recipe for soup Buns and hot dog buns.

    ReplyDelete
  140. Hi H. Jagath D. Peiris, cake flour is a low gluten flour, you may refer to this site for the details (http://www.joyofbaking.com/flour.html). Yes, you may add the butter at the later stage.

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  141. Hi, I tried baking these sweet buns today and they turned out really nice!I used plain flour instead of cake flour and everything from knaeding to proofing was done by my BM.The texture is amzingly soft and fluffy,better than those from some bakeries. Thanks for the recipe.It's definitely a keeper : )

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  142. Hi...I just stumbled upon ur blog yesterday n fell in luv w ths sweet bun recipe of urs. Tried it at nite using my bread maker n baked them ths morning 4 my kids. I adapted ur toppings n used choc rice n raisins instead.It turned out just as u had done it. Will certainly make again n again.Thank u 4 the recipe. It was awesome.

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  143. Best buns ever!!!! Been looking for a bun recipe I could use for anpan and this hits the spot. Super soft and not too sweet, great with tsubuan filling. I am a very happy baker. Though your recipes have made me realize I need a decent scale. The one I have is great for measuring pounds- not so great for metric conversions though.

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  144. Hi, I tried this recipe . It is very succeessful. Now I want to use the same recipe and add another 2 tbspoon tang zhong in it? Can or not? Thank you very much.

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  145. Hi, the dough will be too wet? the best is to follow a proper tangzhong bread recipe to avoid any disappointment...

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  146. Thank you very much for the comment.I would like to try the butter cream cheese filling. Did you try and can you give me the recipe.? Thanks. i tried your magical rolls also, very very nice. Thanks a lot for all these recipes.

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  147. Hi, I have not tried making cream cheese filling.

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  148. Lovely looking buns! I noticed you took the trouble to answer the many questions other bakers had, which t is very nice and kind of you:)

    May I know if this sort of sweet buns can be baked on a cookie sheet? Is a loaf pan necessary?

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  149. Hi belinda, thanks for visiting :) Yes, you can bake the buns on a cookie sheet, space them apart to allow them to expand. Hope this helps :)

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  150. Thank you, Happy Homebaker! ^-^

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  151. happy homebaker... i am trying your recipe today.... hope it will be nice.... will let u know how it turn out.... thanx anyway...

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  152. Hi there,

    I have a question. I tried kneading my bread dough by hand from scratch.. But how do you knead a sticky dough? Everything stick to the board and my hands and what motion should my hands be doing to knead it? Theres a time when i knead it for 1 hr and the dough is still sticky. And also do you smack the dough on board a few Times while kneading? Think its the japanese way of kneading ? Pls help?

    Thanks

    Kelly

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  153. Hi Kelly, you can use a dough scapper to help scape up the sticky dough, see the pics on this post on kneading by hand:
    http://happyhomebaking.blogspot.sg/2007/11/matcha-red-bean-loaf.html

    just knead the dough as though you are washing clothes...first push the dough away from you with one hand, stretching it as you push the sticky mess away. Then the other hand, hold the dough scrapper and scrape up the sticky mess towards you. Turn the dough 90deg (with the help of the scraper), and repeat the kneading. Initially, the dough is so sticky that you may need to use the scrapper to scrape away the dough on your hand as you knead. But eventually it will come together. When the dough is less wet, you can try lift it up on one end, and then smack it on the work table. Actually the smacking motion is the best method for kneading wet and sticky dough. I used a combination of methods as it gets really tiring on the wrists and arms. There are many demo video clips available online, hope you can find some useful tips. Hope this helps, and happy baking!

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  154. Hi, thanks a lot for your reply. I have a few more questions.
    Do we use warm or cool ingredients to make the dough? And also if I still find the dough sticky after an hr, does it mean the ingredients r meaqsured wrongly somewhere?
    Can I use ur loaf bread recipes and bake it in a square pan as in your honey buns? Cos I prefer buns more.. :p would there be any difference in baking time or proofing time?

    Thanks a lot
    Kelly

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    1. Hi Kelly, I use room temperature ingredients. I am not sure why the dough still remains sticky after 1 hr? I usually take 30 - 45mins max. You can use loaf recipes to make into buns, but best is to follow the recipes closely, most bread making cookbooks will have specific buns and loaf recipes they may look the same, but the ingredient amount, the stage to knead the dough, varies. And of course the 2nd proofing time is shorter, temp and baking time is shorter too.

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  155. Thanks a lot :)

    Kelly

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  156. Hello there..

    Thanks for the recipe and tips you rovided to make this sweet bun. To be frank, I have never made breads or buns before. I was searching for a trustworthy recipe when I came across yours. I would say the outcomewas not too bad. The top was dry though due to fault on my side. But I will learn from my mistakes and improvise next time. Thank you.

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  157. Hi Azlina, thanks for sharing your baking experience, hope you will like making bread as much as I do :)

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  158. Hi I made this today! It was a success! I just would say that the 2nd proving stage probably needs longer around an hour (maybe due to temperature). And my buns got burn quite quickly so cooking time took around 20 mints for oven fan. Thanks for the recipe!!!

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  159. Hi HHB

    How do we punch the air out?

    Cheers
    Diana

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  160. Hi Diana, it's a common term used in bread making, just press/fold the dough down to release the air. You may want to read up from websites such as http://www.bakingbread-101.com/
    Hope this helps.

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  161. emma's mummy14/1/13 9:18 am

    Hi, Happy homebaker,

    I tried this recipe, and it was a hit among my kids and my husband. Initially I want to reduce sugar amount, since I am used to recipes that calls for little or no sugar. But in the end I followed the recipe, thinking that probably it's my husband's taste. It's true, it is very much like the bakery house near my IL's home.

    There's a book 'how to make bread' by Emmanuel Hadjiandreou. He taught no-knead way for many traditional breads such as Challah, Pita bread, Arabian bread, bread stick, and I tried no knead method for some, the Pita bread and Arabian bread works well. And it's most detailed and step by step western bread making book that I found so far.

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  162. Hi Happy Homebaker,
    Can I use 150g bread flour and 150g plain flour instead?

    Josephine

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  163. Hi Josephine, you can use plain flour, but the texture may be affected.

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  164. Hi Happy Homebaker, I came across your blog and was inspired by your sweet bun recipe and baked it immediately with what I have in the kitchen.
    I misread bread as plain flour. But does it affect the outcome of the buns?
    I followed your recipe and kneaded by hand for 20 mins until its not sticky. After 1 hour, it's still didn't rise much and I go ahead and baked it. The results was disappointing, it's is hard as rock and didn't rise =(
    I read the comments above, is it because I used cold milk and egg direct from the fridge? I want to try again, hopefully I can succeed this time round =) by the way I'm using Red Man dry yeast which I add into the dry mixture.
    Jerrine

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  165. Hi Jerrine, sorry to hear about your failed attempt. You will need to use Bread flour to yield the soft bread bun texture. If you are kneading by hand, please use room temperature eggs and milk. The yeast may not work if the ingredients are too cold. I use cold eggs and milk (right out of fridge) if I use my bread machine to do the kneading (as the machine will generate heat as it kneads). Also do make sure your yeast hasnt expired. even if you used plain flour, the yeast should still work and the dough should still rise although it won't give u a soft texture.
    Did you proof the dough 2 times? After the first proofing, you need to let it proof again after shaping. You may want to read more about bread making on sites such as:
    http://baking911.com/learn/baked-goods/bread

    Hope this helps and wish your luck on your next attempt :)

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  166. Hi Happy,
    Can I use my mixer (come w the S hook) to knead it till smooth and elastic? Use mixer knead for 20-25 mins? Because my hands have no strength for kneading.

    Josephine

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  167. Hi Happy Homebaker, thanks for your reply. I will try again!

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  168. Hi Josephine, I am not able to comment as I don't have a mixer. I do not know how long it will take to knead by a mixer.

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  169. hi HHB,
    Thank you very much!!!
    I will try then.

    Josephine

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  170. Hi, I am very interested to bake this tomorrow. Can you tell me how to shape the dough into balls? I intend to put butter as filling and do I just roll them with both of my palms like tang yuan? Thanks for your help!

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  171. Hi ai li, you can't smooth/roll bread doughs like tang yuan...the texture of the dough won't allow you to do so. I can't really describe how to do it.
    You can google for demo video clips on how to shape and wrap bread buns. hope this helps.

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  172. Hi, I have googled and it seems so difficult to shape the dough into balls. By the way, do you know why we need to roll in that particular way? Does it improve the texture, taste, size or even appearance? Sorry for asking so many questions but appreciate your help!

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  173. Hi ai li, I googled around and found the following videos...I used this method of smoothing the dough (no filling):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UL9fMJjKPfo
    not difficult at all, just pull and tuck the dough underneath and the top of the round will be smooth. do it a few times will do. then place dough on table and use the edge of your palm to move/push the dough along the surface of the table. hope u understand what I mean after watching the video clip.

    after wrapping with filling, I smooth the dough like this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXduYgPPt8w
    for this video, the filling appears to be firm (red bean paste), so it is relatively easier to wrap.

    for fillings that are 'loose' eg char siew filling, the wrapping will be like this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=5b_gXDf9ooM&feature=endscreen

    do note that you must pinch the seams tight if not the filling will leak especially if the filling is more jam-like (eg kaya, blueberry jam).

    You need to shape/smooth the buns smoothly so that during the second proof, the bread dough will be able to rise nicely and in turn will improve the texture upon baking.

    shaping and wrapping bread dough comes with practice. These sweet buns I posted here were the very first few bread buns I made years back, the shaping looks horrible! but with lots of practice, the bread buns I made now fair so better.

    I learn baking bread mainly through reading cookbooks...till now I have not attended a single baking class. So dont get put off when things appear difficult, just go ahead, play with the dough and learn from mistakes. It is a very rewarding experience when u able to bake a nice tray of homemade buns :)

    otherwise, to cut short the learning curve, you can always attend baking classes and learn from the expert.

    hope this helps.

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  174. Hi, thanks so much for going out of your way to help me!!!! Yes I will watch the videos and I will definitely try baking them. Really appreciate somebody like you who not only teaches but encourages. THANK YOU!

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  175. Hi, I baked these today. They were so fluffy and sooooooooo delicious. I put in frozen butter but guess didn't do a good job in the rolling, the butter melted at the bottom of the bread during baking. But nonetheless, they were so so so so delicious!!!! I am now more confident in bread making. Thanks so much for spurring me on and encouraging me. I told my husband how kind you are to go the extra mile to locate those links to help me. Thank you!

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  176. Hi ai li, so glad to hear that you have great success in making these buns. great to know that you find the video clips useful too. as I am not sure whether you know Chinese, as such I have told you to google for demo videos yourself. I feel bad now, I should have looked for the videos for you in the first place. Hope you have fun making bread from now on! happy baking =)

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  177. Hi, yes I do find it very magical kneading the dough. It started from almost impossible to knead to a nice round and smooth dough after 25 mins of workout. Yes I needed 25mins and with some flour added along the way. I think I would prefer kneading by hand to using the bread machine as I can see the dough evolving and feeling it so elastic make me sure that my end product will be a success. However, I may say baking bread is a long and tedious process. It took a good few hours to finally putting the tray into the oven to bake; actually I was eager to see how they turned out. Sorry one last question - if I want to make the dough but bake the next day, at what stage must I store them in the fridge and do I just bake immediately after they are taken out from the fridge the next day? Please please do not feel bad about anything - you shouldn't because you went out of your way to help and I found the links so useful! I am grateful, really!!!! THANK YOU!

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  178. Hi ai li, kneading dough is truly therapeutic and I agree bread making takes up a longer time :)

    I have not tried storing dough in fridge except for a no-knead cinnamon buns recipe. As such I cant comment on this. Sorry I am of not much help.

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  179. No worries. You have already been very helpful! Thanks once again!

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  180. Hihi,
    1) Does Ur step 1 require to use the electric mixer to work a dough?
    2) if dough is sticky, can I add oil or flour to knead it?
    3) ur step 4, what does punch out the gas means? Needs to roll out or just use knuckles to punch it?
    Leave for 15 mins on flat table then cover with damp cloth?

    Thank you.

    Bebe

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  181. Hi,
    1) It is not necessary to use a mixer.
    2) No, please do not add oil. You can dust it lightly with some flour, but try not to add flour if possible as it will affect the texture of the bread.
    3) it is a term used in bread making, you can simply press the dough down with your hand...to press out any trapped air inside the dough.
    Yes, can leave it on work surface/table and cover with cling wrap or damp cloth.
    Hope this helps :)

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  182. Hi again,

    What do u mean by egg wash?
    How to do it?
    My dough is in the first proofing. Keeping my fingers cross.
    It was indeed a v tough job on kneading!

    Bebe

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  183. Hi Bebe,

    egg wash means brushing the surface with beaten eggs. this will make the buns 'shinny' and brown upon baking. I always skip this step though.

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  184. Hello! was just wondering what the difference between the "Honey Buns" and "Sweet Buns" is? Also, which is softer? Thank you!

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  185. Hi, they are about the same. but I would think Sweet Buns are softer. If you have chance, why not try both? Or if you looking at very soft texture, you can try buns made using tangzhong instead of this straight dough method. Do note that these are all homemade buns, it will not be as soft as those you get from bakeries since there are no additives or bread improvers used in homemade buns. hope this helps.

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